Shouldn't form come first?


I am often in awe of some of the fired surfaces that I see on Facebook. I look at the great surface and wonder why on such an uninteresting and "so what" forms. It seems there are potters that are interested with experimenting with the form and the tactility of the material and there are potters that are interested in the glazes and the colours achieved in the firing. Yes, there are potters that achieve both . It seems the wow factor of glaze and firing seem to be the rage right now. I must admit I really haven’t wanted on that train.
 I like to think form comes first.   Imagine a blind person embracing a large 100 lb moon jar made by one of the Korean masters. To wrap their arms around it and imagine they were holding on to the moon. Reach for the moon and embrace it!

I like the idea of making pots that blind people could enjoy. This could be a beautiful round moon jar such as those I drooled over in Korea or it could be a pot of mucho tactile quality such as those of Ronnie the Rat. Can you imagine the glee on the face of a blind person to have their hands discover a pig, a cat, a rat or some such critter on a tea bowl.
I’m off to the Shadbolt Arts Center in Burnaby, BC on Monday to fire a beautiful train kiln built by Ted Neal.  It will be a treat to drive a Cadillac. I made some moon jars with a twist.  A twist of the handle that is!  I’m enjoying messin’ with them. I haven’t much thought of the glaze. I figure if the form is strong enough and the pot is interesting enough then it will speak well enough for me. Check out the beauty of a unadorned beautiful moon jar- form, form, form!


Linda Starr said…
great concept of imagining a blind person holding a pot, this has given me food for thought, thanks
Dennis Allen said…
While decorative glazing and other surface treatments can enhance a good pot, you can't decorate your way out of ugly.I see a lot of mugs with bad handles that people have spent hours decorating.
john said…
The pretty red glaze makes the pot. I can remember that being said back in the 70's and it was wrong then too. It took me awhile to figure that out but now I really only care that the glaze inside of the mug fits the clay body for function. I fell in love with wood firing 20 yrs ago and believe that the natural effects of ash deposits can make a well made piece shine. I had an Art History professor tell the class that an artist is lucky to create a masterpiece ONCE in their life so how can all of my pots be that great. Well off to make my first. Happy potting!!!
Unknown said…
I once gave a 'throwing lesson' to someone who had been blind since birth. Quite different explaining the steps with your eyes closest!
Unknown said…
I have a blind client and I so enjoy his visits to my studio. He caresses the pieces in such a lovely way, and selects he functional pieces based not on snazzy glaze colour, but on the textures of the glazes he prefers and the feel of the form. He has made me see more.

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